Summary: This sermon encourages the listener not to be an "almost", but to be all that God intends them to be in life, first through Salvation, then through living in His will.
There is not one of us here tonight that would not raise our hands high in the air, when asked if we wanted to be all that God wants us to be.
There is a plan that God has for all of our lives, and to find the ultimate fulfillment in life, we must gain a knowledge of that plan, and then put it into action as God directs.
It seems that at times people get the mistaken idea that if somehow we yield to the Will of God, that we are going to spend the rest of our lives doing things we do not want to do, and being miserable until the day we die.
I happen to believe tonight that when we yield to the Lord, we will be happier than we ever dreamed even doing things we thought we never would even want to do.
While on vacation, I heard a sermon title that spoke to my heart, and although I did not hear any of the sermon, the title has captured my attention, and I want to build off that tonight....
The title is: “Don’t Be An Almost”
In this life, there are many examples of what it means to almost make it...
One thinks of the Buffalo Bills who for four years made it to the Super Bowl, and “almost” won it, but came up short each time.
One must also think of the Boston Red Sox, who have come excruciatingly close to winning the World Series in 1967, 1975, and 1988, but came up short, and “almost” won it.
Just this past week in the 2002 World Series, the SF Giants had a lead of 5-0 in the 7th inning of Game 6, and were only 6 short outs away from a WS title. However, we now know that they were “almost” World Series champs, after the Angels came back, won that game, and then won Game 7 for the Championship.
Going from the sports world, all we have to do is look at the last election, and see how amazing this word “almost” is, as Al Gore “almost” became President but lost by a margin of a few votes.
This was not the only “almost” voting situation in World History...
In 1776, one vote gave America the English language instead of German.
In 1845, one vote brought Texas into the Union.
In 1868, one vote saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment.
In 1923, one vote gave Adolf Hitler leadership of the Nazi Party.
In 1941, one vote saved Selective Service -- just weeks before Pearl Harbor was attacked.
We could go on and on about some of the “almost” sports and political situations we have had, but I want to take a look at our lives compared to the Word of God, and also realize the fact that there were some “almosts” in the Bible, and yes, there are “almosts” today in churches and ministries all across America and the World.
Time and space does not permit me to mention names and ministries of various men and women of God who just in our lifetime became an “almost”, and never fully accomplished all that God intended for their lives.
Some men die by shrapnel,
Some go down in flames.
But most men perish inch by inch
playing little games.
Let’s look at some of the “almosts” in scripture, and hopefully avoid these situations for our own lives.
First of all we look at the point:
I. ALMOST A CHRISTIAN - ACTS 26:28,29
Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. 29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
In my opionion, this is one of the most tragic scriptures in the word of God as we read of the nearness of one man’s salvation, and the final rejection of the free Grace of God.
Some have said that this was just a sarcastic remark made by Agrippa in a moment of ridicule toward Paul after he shared the Gospel.
Sarcastic or serious, the consequences of being “almost a Christian” are the same - an eternity in Hell lost forever to the grace of God, and the message of Salvation again.
How many “almost Christians” sat in churches throughout the world on Sunday who are going to “almost” make heaven.
Week after week of sitting through message after message has hardened their hearts to the point of feeling that as long as they don’t make a decision for Christ, somehow everything will be all right.
‘WELL PREACHER, YOU ALMOST SUCCEEDED TODAY!”
Well, I’m here to say tonight that one cannot “almost” be saved. You’re either in our out, hot or cold, saved or unsaved, with God or without God.